The nursing process is described by the American Nurses Association as a five stage sequence of events that help to categorize the clients issue and course of action (Ida Jean, 1958). These include assessment, diagnosis, outcomes, implementation and evaluation. Family assessment on the other hand, is the process of collecting data about the family structure, relationships and interactions among individual members. Numerous theories from the nursing and social sciences faculties have been developed. In the nursing field the following theories are available:
- Neuman’s System Theory – The way each family member expresses self influences the whole and creates the basic structure of the family (Neuman, 1983). The nurse helps to keep the structure stable within its environment.
- King’s Open Systems Theory – it views the family as a social unit system that influences the development of individuals (King, 1981). The nurse ensures members are healthy enough to perform their roles.
- Roy’s Adaptation Theory – the client is an entity, family, group or community in continuous interaction within a changing environment. The nurse promotes adaptation when the family is confronted with unusual stress and coping patterns are ineffective.
The Roy’s adaptation theory is very effective in practice due to its degree of realism in today’s dynamic world. It also targets the holistic person especially their psychosocial needs. It’s also simple yet generalized so that it has a communal approach to health. Its testable hence can form a basis for a hypothesis, and is consistent with other authenticated theories, laws and principles. Its limitations include overlap of certain assessment categories and a dependence on the value system of the nurse who must judge what is and what is not adaptive.
- Meleis Ibrahim Afaf (1997) , Theoretical Nursing : Development & Progress Philadelphia